Pressure Cooker Ribs make tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone with a perfect sticky glaze that you're going to love. Cooking ribs in the pressure cooker takes a fraction of the time with the same powerful flavor and deliciousness. You'll never go back!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
There are several different methods of making ribs from boiling, grilling, baking, and smoking.
ALL are delicious and can produce very flavorful tender ribs but all those methods take hours on hours of cooking whereas cooking ribs in the instant pot or pressure cooker will create incredibly flavorful tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs in only an hour or less.
- Quickest and easiest way to make tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs!
- A family favorite dinner that's loved by kids and adults!
- Made with many pantry staples and easy-to-find ingredients.
- No pressure cooker? No worries! You will also find directions to make perfect oven-baked baby back ribs!
If you love ribs, you might also enjoy these delicious country style ribs.
There are a couple of components for this recipe, ribs, a rub, and a tasty bbq sauce. Before we look at all the ingredients you will need for making ribs in a pressure cooker, let's talk a bit about ribs!
What are the different types of ribs?
Pork ribs vs beef ribs. Pork ribs are more commonly eaten and likely what you'll find at your grocery store.
What's the difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs?
They're simply cut from different parts of the pig. Baby backs are leaner and tender, and weigh less so they cook faster than spareribs.
Spare ribs are richer and more flavorful because they have more bone and generally more fat, but less meat (which equals cheaper). Both can be delicious!
What type of ribs should I cook in the Instant Pot?
You want to use baby back ribs! They're easy to fit into the ribs into the pressure cooker and they cook up so irresistibly tasty!
What do I need to make Instant Pot Ribs?
Are you ready to get started? Here's the rest of what you need for making the best pressure cooker ribs.
- Ribs: We are using baby back ribs for this recipe. They are your pretty standard, most commonly known ribs.
- Dark brown sugar: Brown sugar flavors the rub and also sweetens the homemade bbq sauce.
- Rub seasonings: Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, white pepper, black pepper, and salt.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and garlic cooked until soft in oil give lay the base of flavors down.
- Ketchup: Makes the base for the homemade bbq sauce that's going to make the ribs taste sooo good!
- Apple cider vinegar: Gives the sauce the perfect tang!
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds rich, savory flavors to balance out the sauce and make it more flavorful.
- Liquid smoke: Rounds out the bbq sauce flavor with a little smokiness.
- Honey: Gives the bbq sauce its familiar stickiness.
- Spice: The homemade bbq sauce gets its kick from some hot chili sauce, paprika, and cayenne.
How to Cook Ribs in the Instant Pot
Here's an overview of the steps for making ribs in the pressure cooker. The details are lined out in the recipe card further down the page.
- Mix up all your spices and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir until it's well mixed.
- Rub the spices all over, front and back, of the baby back ribs. Place the seasoned ribs in the fridge overnight or for at least a few hours.
Now that your ribs are super flavorful it's time to pressure cook them.
- Place the ribs in the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, broth, or Dr. Pepper...yeah baby.
- Pressure cook the ribs for 30 minutes. For really really fall-apart tender ribs you can go a little longer like 45 minutes. When the time is up use natural release and open the lid.
- Pull the ribs out of the pressure cooker and slice them into sections and transfer them to a foil-lined jelly roll pan.
- To add a nice sticky glaze, brush a generous amount of homemade barbecue sauce all over the ribs.
- Broil the baby back ribs for about 5-10 minutes or until desired stickiness you want is achieved. Serve them up and enjoy!
What Do I Do With Leftover Ribs?
Any leftover ribs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
When you're ready to enjoy them again, reheat them in your microwave, air fryer, or in a saucepan with little water.
How to Serve Ribs
You will want to serve them immediately nice and hot! They're perfect for dinner, a backyard bbq, as an appetizer, or game day party food.
Serve these ribs with a low-carb option like these Keto Bang Bang Cauliflower!
- Give the ribs time to sit after adding the rub! We think overnight is best but at a minimum give them 2-3 hours.
- We love our homemade barbecue sauce but you can also opt for your favorite store brand.
- Extend the cooking time to forty-five minutes for even more tender ribs.
- Add more flavor by using Dr. Pepper or broth instead of water in the instant pot.
Pressure cook the ribs for 30 minutes. For really really fall-apart tender ribs you can go a little longer like 45 minutes. Always use natural release.
It may have been removed at the grocery store but if not, here's how to do it.
First, cut off the last rib if you can't get a start on it. You'll want to dig in with a blunt object. I use a butter knife.
If the membrane is all intact and once you start pulling, it should all just come off in one piece. If not, it'll be more difficult, but just do the best you can. It's not integral that you remove the membrane, it just makes for a slightly easier eating experience.
Once it gets going, grab a paper towel and use it to really grasp the membrane. Pull that sucker back.
Yes! Well, you need some form of liquid in order to cook under pressure. But you can also use broth or soda to add different flavors. If you forget the water, you will likely get a burn notice from the pressure cooker.
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Easy Pressure Cooker Ribs
- 2 racks of pork ribs
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoon celery salt
- 2 Tablespoon white pepper
Homemade BBQ Sauce
- ⅛ cup canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ cup yellow onion chopped
- 2 cups all-natural ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ Tablespoon hot chili sauce
- 1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ Tablespoon paprika
- ½ Tablespoon cayenne
- ½ Tablespoon black pepper
Prep the Ribs
- Remove membrane from ribs.
- Mix rub ingredients together and rub into ribs. Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
- Place the ribs in the instant pot with 1 cup or water, broth or dr pepper. Cook on high for 30-45 minutes and let natural release.
- Remove from pressure cooker and divide into sections. Brush with your favorite or homemade bbq sauce. Place under broiler for about 5-10 minutes until BBQ sauce is nice and sticky. Serve immediatly.
- Prepare sauce by sautéing garlic and onions in oil until soft. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer on low, covered, while stirring frequently 10-15 minutes or until thickened and darkened. Refrigerate sauce overnight.
- Four hours prior to chow time, remove ribs from refrigerator. Place in glass pan large enough to fit (trim ribs if necessary) or jelly roll pan.
- Pour about ¼" layer of Dr. Pepper into pan. Cover tightly with two layers of foil and bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours.
- Remove from pans, drain all liquid. Baste both sides of ribs with sauce.
- Grill saucy ribs on grill while occasionally re-basting or bake in oven 350 degrees uncovered for 25 minutes.
- Broil for a couple of minutes for a crispy outer edge.